Brand Spotlight: How Slim Jim Built a Cult-like Following

Posted on November 6, 2020

Updated on March 13, 2023

2 min read time

I first came across Slim Jim in people’s Instagram comments. To me, it seemed that ‘Slim Jim’ was everywhere: posting on celebrities' photos, meme pages and other brands, too. I honestly thought he was a troll.

One day, I decided to click through and see who the hell this ‘Slim Jim’ fella was. Turns out, it’s a brand of meat stick.

Their social media strategy is to go around Instagram, trolling, supporting, commenting and making waves. They do it so authentically that they are mistaken for a person. As a result of this authenticity, they have created a cult-like following, called the “Long Boi Gang”.

Euphemisms everywhere. 

Slim Jim Long Boi(Source:Slim Jim Facebook Page)

This Long Boi Gang enthusiastically lifts the brand up, engaging with everything they post with a fanboy energy. And Slim Jim, smart as they are, keep them coming back for more. They post memes about the brand that are highly relatable for their audience, containing explicit jokes you have to hunt to find.

They are not a brand for the mature, but their incredibly strong personality and tone of voice creates a feeling of realness and humanity that most brands can only aspire to. 


Screenshot 2020-11-06 at 14.29.30


A few years ago, a teenager started a parody page of Slim Jim , as it was “as dry as the sausages it was selling”. The account quickly had three times the number of followers as the brand itself.

So the Brand Managers at Slim Jim did something very brave: they hired the teen to do their media; appropriateness and risk be damned. As a result, the Connection the Long Bois have with the brand is palpable.

As one of the 16 Drivers of people’s relationships with brands, Connection shows just how much people relate to the way your brand behaves. The more you feel like “two peas in a pod”, the higher your Connection with them.

By majoring on Connection and building a strong community of fans, Slim Jim has managed to build a brand that is authentic and has a distinct personality.

When it comes to what drives these, Integrity (a brand that does what’s right) and Differentiation (a brand that is unique), are truly at play. The beauty of this identity is that it is so well executed and supported, creatively. The brand deeply understands what their audience needs, and uses that to get engagement.

slim jim fist


The Aspiration of the brand – another of our 16 Drivers - is undeniable, with being a part of the “gang” almost felt as exclusive. Overall, the brand’s Seduction is brilliant. Pulling people in is what they do. And they do it through their clever and subversive approach to communications, capturing the emotional power of the brand and curating a digital experience for their audience that sets them apart. I salute Slim Jim for “keeping it real” and for doing what is ever-more difficult these days: giving a brand an original and magnetic character. 


Read more here about how they did it. 
See what they do at @slimjim on Instagram.

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